The recent appointment of German super-coach, Jürgen Klopp, to a struggling Liverpool has been met with great warmth by the Anfield faithful. With such a glowing track record to his name, who wouldn’t be chuffed to hear that the ex-Borussia Dortmund boss, who nurtured a flailing side into a force to be reckoned with among Bundesliga giants, was now in charge?
With Liverpool sitting tenth in the Premier League table, one behind a shaky Southampton squad, and two paces off a Tottenham Hotspur side they face this coming weekend, there’s plenty of room to manoeuvre. Expectations under Brendan Rodgers were quite mighty at times, but they mainly failed to fulfil. Liverpool has enjoyed many an encouraging season – especially back in 2013/2014 – and could have been a truly consistently threatening side, but still didn’t muster enough skill and dominance to appear as troublesome an opponent as sides such as Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City. Presently, however, it certainly seems that Klopp has the right intention with the Reds. Klopp spoke encouragingly last week about how to tackle their future campaign; “We have to change the doubter to the believer – now,” (via the Liverpool FC website).
This comment comes as what I’d consider solid evidence that Klopp’s Liverpool turnaround won’t just be a quick fix, though; I have a distinct feeling that Reds supporters might simply think that the team will go from tenth to second place over the course of 24 hours. This would be wholly incorrect, for it just isn’t that easy. Granted, Jürgen Klopp can eke miracles out of youngsters and flagging team members, but he will demand some tenacity and man hours in return – quite rightly so. The magic potion of sorts will be offered, but players must be eager to sip. Having Klopp at Liverpool is a privilege, and one that cuts both ways.
So often in football, managers are scrutinised because of the mistakes on the pitch, yet they are more commonly only accountable for oversights in structure and formation, or for selecting a certain player to start. In fact, it is usually the players themselves that must be either collectively or individually held responsible for a poor show. As with Louis van Gaal at Manchester United, fans must give Jürgen Klopp adequate time to bed in, and without hostility if it’s taking time for the team to gel under new instruction.
It seems that Klopp’s fresh ethos is being welcomed rightly, though. Brazil’s Lucas Leiva is one man already pleased with the changes at Anfield, and clearly understands that the team must regroup and put on stellar performances as game weeks continue. Training so far has oozed positivity, with Klopp asking players to “try to be better”, and “always give 10 metres more,” (Liverpool FC’s website; The Daily Mail), which is precisely the spiel I expected from the former Dortmund man.
As much as I initially (and perhaps still do, marginally) deemed Klopp too cool for the Premier League, it appears that Liverpool won’t be the sort of team to take him for granted, nor squander their opportunities under the bright light of a new manager. Teams in the Bundesliga sit up and take note; they are clinical, professional and dogged, which can be witnessed among certain Premier League teams, but this nature often dwindles at points, rather than persisting throughout. If Liverpool are willing to open their ears, then Klopp is bound to fuse truly spectacular things at the club.
Liverpool has become something of a team that invites ‘flops’ into the fold; both Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert fled Southampton for the upper echelons, yet neither have been particularly noteworthy at Anfield. Meanwhile, relinquishing Luis Suárez was, ironically, a costly blow (despite his dental desires resurfacing at last year’s World Cup); Liverpool’s striking force has since been somewhat underwhelming, despite best efforts to mesh the team together and seize some results up front from one of FIFA 16’s two faces, Jordan Henderson.
If the Reds can utilise Klopp fully, the reality doesn’t just feature each player bringing much more determination to both training and fixtures; any lagging member of the team will undoubtedly be nurtured back to full health and feel totally energised under Jürgen Klopp’ scheme. Indeed, there won’t be any quick fixes at Anfield, but there ought to be some very tantalising results under their new master.